Past Exhibits

Vancouver Clinic and the History of Health in Clark County

The Clinic’s history starts in July 1929, when Dr. John C. Brougher treated his first patient in Vancouver. In the early days, Brougher traveled both paved and dirt roads to deliver Clark County’s babies.

An industrious and compassionate physician, Brougher’s practice grew quickly. By the late 1930’s, he needed help. The first to join him was GP, Dr. Frank Boersma in 1937. Then, that same year, Dr. H. Leslie Frewing joined as their surgeon. Two years later, the final founding physician, Pediatrician, Dr. David R. Loree, joined the budding group.

In 1941, they changed their name to the Vancouver Clinic and a pillar of the Southwest Washington medical community emerged.

Visit us and explore the clinic’s 80+ years of care, plus discover special medical-related objects from the very beginnings of our collection and more.

Founding Mothers: Portraits of Progress


CCHM is hosting the exhibition Founding Mothers: Portraits of Progress from August 19th through the end of September.  The exhibition consists of 47 portraits of remarkable women from Clark County, 6 of which are making their debut at CCHM. An opening reception will be held at 5:00pm on the 19th. Hilarie Couture will speak about her process and portraits and give a demonstration at 6:00pm.

Couture’s impetus for this project was the naming of 2016 as Vancouver’s Year of the Woman coinciding with the centennial celebration of the Clark County YWCA.

Couture remarked “this body of work was a challenge to myself to paint portraits of women that I didn’t know, and most that I had never seen, and to engage those living to spend an hour to 90 minutes with me in my studio sharing my world.

Mark your calendars for CCHM’s related events:

Below Video From the Columbian’s Youtube Channel






ALL ABOARD! Clark County Rides the Rails



All Aboard!: Clark County Rides the Rails retraces the development of railroads in Clark County.

Railroads nearly didn’t happen in Clark County. In the 1850’s, the territorial governor, heading a survey for a railroad route, found the north bank of the Columbia River a near-impossible barrier for rails heading east. County cities debated over the location of a rail bridge over the river. Small railway companies came and went. The economic depression of the 1890’s put the street cars of Clark County out of business, never mind attempts at larger rail systems, and the disastrous Yacolt fires tabled any plans for developments in transportation in Clark County.

All this changed with the birth of the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway (SP&S), which transported Clark County goods across the Northwest, eventually making its way south into California, and ended its long career in the 1970’s merging with several other small rail systems to become the Burlington Northern.

From the first dream in the 1860’s of rails linking the Columbia River and Puget Sound, to the birth and storied history the SP&S Railway (Spokane, Portland & Seattle), All Aboard engages visitors with the triumphs and trials and personalities and conflicts of those determined to create the Northwest’s own railway.

One November Morning

One November Morning Image


One November Morning has been extended by popular demand until June 18, 2016!

Descendants of the Sand Creek Massacre of November 29, 1864 have created an exhibit of artwork depicting the day of the massacre. More than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were viciously massacred at Sand Creek, CO. The work of Cheyenne and Arapaho artists Brent Learned and George Levi focuses on the remembrance, honor and strength of their ancestors and leaders.

CCHM is hosting the exhibition One November Morning from February 13 through June 18, 2016.  This extraordinary exhibition has shown at the Denver Art Museum and galleries at University of Denver and Northwestern University. CCHM will be the first venue on the West Coast.

Learned and Levi will paint three murals that memorialize their journey to Vancouver to tell the stories of their ancestors. The murals will also contain elements of Clark County history. This permanent addition to our collection will document a historic visit from Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal representatives.

CCHM is partnering with WSUV, Clark College, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Title VII Indian Education and the Portland Art Museum.  Throughout the run of the exhibition, related programs related will be held at these various venues.

Your donation will help us bring the exhibition and several of the artists to the Museum.

Woven History: Native American Basketry


Woven History PosterOn December 2, 2004 we celebrated the release of our 98 page, full color Woven History: Native American Basketry publication and the opening of our exhibit by the same name. The publication and the exhibit showcase the amazing baskets in our museum collection.

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Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America

Bead_2-2CLOSED NOVEMBER 2018 – Experience the beauty of traditional and contemporary Native American bead-work from across the Northwest Coast, Plateau and Plains regions.

Making Beauty connects the past to the present and brings to light the skills and artistry of Native people.

Food for Thought – Clark County’s Food History


Meals are moments in which cultural traditions are transmitted across generations, hand to mouth. Visit your museum to view our latest exhibit, Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History. Come explore Clark County’s shifting landscape of food as researched by students from Washington State University-Vancouver and illustrated using artifacts, documents and images from the museum’s collection. Opening Reception – September 4th from 5-9pm as part of First Thursday Museum After Hours.  Admission is FREE with membership. Lecture at 7pm by guest curator and Washington State University-Vancouver professor Candice Goucher.

Exhibit Sponsors: 



Shadows of Conflict: Clarke County and the Civil War



This exhibit opens March 25th, 2014 (opening reception April 4th) and closes March 21st, 2015.

While no military battles were fought here, the issues that drove our nation to war were just as relevant on the western frontier. Visit your museum to view our latest exhibit, Shadows of Conflict: Clarke County and the Civil War. Artifacts, documents and images from the museum’s collection will be used to illustrate how the war’s long shadow touched Clarke County and its citizens.

Click here to see North Bank Now magazine’s article on the exhibit.

Columbia Credit Union is sponsoring this exhibit.


Art of Legacy



June 5th the museum opened Art of Legacy, the brainchild of North Bank’s Executive Director Maureen Andrade and CCHM’s former Executive Director Susan Tissot. Student artwork will be on display June-August 2014 at the Clark County Historical Museum and North Bank Artists Gallery.

A panel discussion about Art of Legacy with teachers, students, and museum staff was held at the museum on Thursday, June 5 at 7pm as part of First Thursday at the Museum.

About Art of Legacy

North Bank Artists Gallery and the Clark County Historical Museum partnered to develop the Art of Legacy pilot program. In spring of 2014, staff from the gallery and museum worked with veteran teacher Fae Moeller and her advanced art class from Thomas Jefferson Middle School on this multi-disciplinary art and humanities project.

In February, students spent an entire school day touring the museum and listening to lectures from museum staff. After the museum field trip teaching artists kathi rick, Sharri LaPierre, Cynthia Heise, and Pepper Kim worked in the classroom with the students. They created art projects based on historic themes from their museum experience.

Gallery and museum staff prepared the students’ artwork for public display while Ms. Moeller worked with students on artist statements for each project. Visitors to the museum and gallery will see a variety of work and be able to read about the students’ experiences.


Curiosity: Clark County, Real and Imagined



Satisfy your curiosity while sharing ours at our newest exhibit, Curiosity: Clark County, Real and Imagined, sponsored by Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C., whose Vancouver office is located in the historic Charles Brown house downtown. This quirky exhibit will give you a peek at oddities in the museum’s artifact, photographic and archival collections while divulging fascinating facts–and fallacies–in our shared community story.


Labor: A Working History


Click here to read an article in the Northwest Labor Press about the exhibit.
Click here for The Columbian’s article.


Run dates: July 11, 2013 – August 1, 2015

Clock in at the museum to discover the significance of Clark County’s work and workers by tracing their development against a backdrop of regional and national labor movement milestones. Learn more about the past, present and future of local labor through words, images and artifacts, plus interactive displays for the young at heart.

Following the reception, author and University of Washington professor Dr. Michael Honey will present a special Second Thursday lecture entitled, “Links on the Chain: Labor and Civil Rights in Story and Song”. Refreshments will be provided by The Grant House Restaurant. CCHS members, military veterans, and active-duty military personnel and their families all receive free admission to the museum; otherwise, regular admission rates apply.

“Labor: A Working History” follows the path of workers’ rights locally and on a national scale beginning in the 1800s with Hawaiian and Native American laborers for the Hudson’s Bay Company. As industry began to grow in Vancouver through large companies like the Star Brewery and service industry jobs increased as a result, workers began to band together to protect their wages and rights. Continuing through the 20th century, the exhibit highlights the effects of the world wars on workers’ unions and the internal struggles between organized labor groups such as the AFL and the CIO. Since the 1980s and the rise of inflation and automation, labor unions have lost much of the power they once held, and the exhibit notes the plight of present-day workers and the specter of a future where they do not have the protections of strong labor unions.


Click here for a current list of exhibit sponsors.

Labor Panel Discussion to Air on CVTV

In March 2014, we held a panel discussion with three local labor issues authors at the Vancouver Community Library. A taping of this 2-hour program will be aired locally on CVTV through March 29th, and is also available on-demand here.


Vet Ink: Military-Inspired Tattoos


Run dates: February 19, 2013 – September 27, 2013

Click here to read an article about the exhibit in The Columbian, here for The Oregonian’s story on the exhibit, here to read about the exhibit on, and here to read about it in the UK’s Daily Mail Online! For a full list of media that ran articles about this exhibit, please visit our Press page.

We’re pretty excited about the very first exhibit to grace the walls of our ‘brick room’ gallery! It’s titled “Vet Ink: Military-Inspired Tattoos”, and it runs now through September 2013. The exhibit features the tattoos and stories of eleven local service-members who answered a solicitation put out into the community in the past several weeks.

All subjects were photographed for the exhibit by Kate Singh of Aevum Images in downtown Vancouver and were interviewed by museum staff for the interpretive panels. Locally-trained tattoo artist and co-owner of Timeless Tattoo in Portland, Brynn Sladky, helped museum Collections Manager Kris Wells create two painted panels featuring tattooed figures with cutouts for faces for visitors to use as a tattoo photobooth. Brynn also created custom temporary tattoos that are available in the museum store.

Here’s what exhibit photographer Kate Singh had to say about the exhibit:

The VET INK project excited me when I was asked to be the photographer. I have always been a storyteller; as a nurse, as a mom and as a photographer. The opportunity to tell Veterans’ stories about their tattoos was an amazing opportunity to give value, honor and respect to every generation that would come in. We have a common bond, a sense of family in the military that extends to all who have served…the homeless, the moms and dads, the politician, and the business owner; crossing all lines of gender, race and social status you are respected.

Veterans featured in the exhibit—and their families—receive free admission. CCHS members also get in for free; otherwise, regular museum admission is charged. Call the museum for more information about this and other exhibits.

*As always, CCHS members and active-duty military personnel and their families receive free museum admission. In special conjunction with this exhibit, all U.S. Military Veterans receive free admission through September 28, 2013.

You can watch a video made for the exhibit by clicking the play button below.

Digital Vet Ink submissions

Click on the image(s) below to see additional panels from online submissions to “Vet Ink: Military-Inspired Tattoos”. To submit your own story, click here.


Richard Brautigan


Run dates: January 3rd, 2013 – March 6th, 2013.

An exhibit on Richard Brautigan is now on display in our northwest gallery, just in time for January 27th’s interNational Unpublished Writers’ Day Workshop at the museum.

Come browse black and white prints of Brautigan taken by photographer Erik Weber as well as artifacts from the Brautigan Library in Vermont and from Richard’s life.